Last year, locals wolfed down lutefisk and slurped up oysters at the Fishermen's Fall Festival. And this year, they'll do the same and might just chase it with a scalloporito.
That's the new hot item the Alaska Scallop Association (ASA) will present Sept. 25 at the festival. But the seafood burrito will be stuffed with scallops wrapped in bacon, dipped in pesto sauce and cole slaw.
Paula Cassidy, owner of Wild Salmon Seafood Market located at the terminal, and for 15 years the organizer of the festival, has been selling ASA scallops for years but this is the first year a booth will be set up at the festival.
"I've wanted them to come, to demonstrate what a scallop is and how to shuck a scallop," Cassidy said. "These are Alaska weathervane scallops, the worlds' best, I believe."
Also new this year will be the Bering Sea Crabbers. This organization will have a booth likely manned by some of the castmembers of the "Deadliest Catch" TV show. They will serve king crab cocktails. Cassidy had cast her proverbial net to get sponsors and more vendors at this year's festival and the Crabbers responded.
Last year, one of the crab boats featured on the TV show was moored at the terminal for the festival. Visitors could climb aboard and take pictures. Cassidy is working on making that happen again. She said the popularity of the TV show has increased the visibility of the festival, which continues to focus on families.
More than 200 volunteers will be on hand to help Cassidy run the event, which she said is completely volunteer run and paid for mostly through donations or in-kind services.
The salmon filleting contest, one of the more popular events at the festival will make its return. It features some of the fastest fish skinners in the West, and will again be hosted by radio personality Mike Gastineau. Contest winners get two tickets to anywhere that Alaska Airlines flies.
Proceeds from the festival go to the Fishermen's Terminal Memorial Fund.
This is the festival's 22nd year, and the 15th year Cassidy has chaired the organizing committee, which is part of the Fishermen's Terminal Tenant Association.